Last week, President Obama vetoed legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, a major move to protect our environment by curtailing production of fossil fuels.

Ariela was a tree-hugger and a member of the Sierra Club.

Her passion for the environment began after she heard Julia Butterfly Hill. Ariela was about twelve years old at the time. She sat in the front row and stared up at the guest speaker. Butterfly Hill was a young woman who didn’t lean on platitudes. She told her story with religious zeal, and she spoke directly to Ariela. Saying “Save the Redwoods” wasn’t enough. Butterfly Hill had lived in the upper branches of a thousand year-old redwood for over two years.

Ariela was inspired. She read both of Butterfly Hill’s books, The Legacy of Luna and One Makes the Difference: Inspiring Actions that Change our World. That’s when she joined the Sierra Club. Like Butterfly Hill, Ariela wasn’t one to rest on slogans. When she finished high school, she became a volunteer trail docent at Crissy Field, part of Golden Gate National Park. She patrolled once a week for eight years. Her dog, Benji, dutifully came along until he no longer could. Her painting on the banner of this website is her impression of the trees she passed on the trail. Ariela was very proud to be a steward of the park and of our natural resources. She knew that to save our planet we would need to change our behavior. She would have approved of Obama’s stance against the pipeline.

The kings of the forest, the noblest of noble race, rightly belong to the world, but as they are in California, we cannot escape the responsibility as their guardians.   – John Muir

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